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Five Points - Raleigh's Original Walkable Neighborhood

September 29, 2022


Five Points is one of the original “walkable” neighborhoods in Raleigh located outside of downtown. Only 2 miles from Downtown Raleigh, Five Points is named for its five point intersection where 3 main roads (Glenwood, Whitaker Mill, Fairview)  all come together. At this intersection you'll find the infamous Rialto Theater (which recently announced its closing), shops, restaurants, and the post office.  Some of Raleigh's famous restaurants are located here - Hayes Barton Cafe and Lilly's Pizza have become institutions in their own right. Much smaller in scale than Downtown and North Hills, Five Points still has a lot of that old Raleigh charm.


On the heels of the first wave of white suburban development in Raleigh, five new suburban neighborhoods clustered around the Five Points intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Fairview and Whitaker Mill Roads. Developers platted Hayes Barton, Bloomsbury, Georgetown, Vanguard Park, and Roanoke Park in the 1910s through the early 1920s. Construction continued over the next few decades of the twentieth century, resulting in a transition from streetcar suburbs to automobile suburbs.
Each neighborhood has a distinct character, created by a combination of its particular location, deed restrictions, and period of development. Hayes Barton, one of the last of the group to be platted, actually developed first. The neighborhood was primary in several ways: the location was best, adjacent to the streetcar line but away from the railroad line to the east; deed restrictions resulted in large, prestigious houses; and landscape designer Earle Sumner Draper laid out the street plan. Bloomsbury and Roanoke Park developed in the 1920s, with construction in the latter continuing into the 1930s. Vanguard Park developed in the recovery years after the Great Depression, after 1935, while most construction in Georgetown occurred after World War II.

Read more and see maps at RHDC.

Living in Five Points

Five Points offers a good example of the quintessential “inside the beltline” experience, because it’s convenient to just about everything, has a diverse amount of housing (though that is changing quickly) and is walkable to popular restaurants.  

NoFo at the Pig in Raleigh's Five Points

For types of housing, at the starter-home level, there are the Cottages at Whitaker Mill, the apartments on Hudson St, the townhouses off Scales St.  With lots selling for more than $400k (as of 2022), the typical single family home is more expensive.  It’s becoming more and more common now to tear down a home as prices to renovate are sometimes more expensive than starting over. But you can still find a great renovated older home with tons of charm in many parts of Five Points.  Many do not have garages, and sometimes even driveways aren’t common depending on the location.  

An attractive part of Five Points is that there are SO many routes to walk for exercise. Back in 2004 when I lived on Hudson St, I had a variety of running routes through the neighborhood: down to the greenway, over into Hayes Barton or Cameron Village, or even across into Anderson Heights and into Country Club Hills. Each route provided shady tree cover due to the mature trees. The only thing missing were sidewalks for most of the route, but I got used to it. Walking with children or a stroller may be a little more risky without the sidewalks, but most of the streets are pretty quiet, still giving you plenty of options. 

Fallon Park sits in the middle of Five Points and Anderson Heights and is a valued nature preserve with a creek where dogs can play and children can explore. The feeling here is very much of a residential neighborhood, but you benefit from the proximity to the services and shops just a short walk away. And for everything else, it’s a quick 5-10 minute drive. 

See the Five Points neighborhood page for a list of places to walk to and available listings

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